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Renfe wants to launch high-speed trains between Paris and London


The Spanish national railway company intends to take advantage of the opening up to competition of French railways.

The Spanish national railway company Renfe wants to launch high-speed trains between Paris and London, using the still available traffic slots of the Channel Tunnel.


"has initiated preliminary contacts to be able to compete"

on this line with the cross-Channel company Eurostar, a 55% -owned subsidiary of SNCF, the company told AFP, confirming information from the Spanish daily

El Pais


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"Currently, there are slots available and the ability to operate"

on this

"high speed line"

, Renfe added, adding that it had carried out a market study showing that it would be


for the company. to run such trains.

The high-speed line between Paris and London, operated by Eurostar, connects the two capitals in 2:15 am via the Channel Tunnel, inaugurated in 1994. It was used before the pandemic, each year, by nine million travelers.

Consequence of opening up the French market to competition

Eurostar train traffic has fallen sharply since 2020 due to the health crisis. But it "was growing until Covid-19" and should

"find this trend again next year"

, underlines Renfe. The Spanish company plans to operate on this line with

“its own equipment”, starting with “a minimum of seven trains


"In a second step, the service could be extended to new French and international destinations"

, indicates the company.

According to the company, Renfe's access to the French market would indeed be


, because it would benefit from the support of Eurotunnel, a subsidiary of the Getlink group which manages the Channel Tunnel, currently

"very interested in the development of the project. ".

Read alsoAir France and SNCF have made peace on domestic lines

The Spanish company announced in July 2019 its desire to enter the French market, now liberalized, by running high-speed trains between Marseille and Lyon.

She has since denounced

"many obstacles"

thwarting her wishes.

Renfe's decision comes at a time when SNCF has for its part launched on the Spanish market, by inaugurating a low-cost Ouigo line between Madrid and Barcelona in the spring.

The French group has invested some 600 million euros in its Spanish adventure.

Source: lefigaro

All business articles on 2021-10-26

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